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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 24, 2014 | UNCATEGORIZED | 1 |

John Menadue. Farewell to Gough Whitlam, 21 October 2014

Many thanks to John Menadue for allowing us to republish this personal farewell to Gough Whitlam which was originally published on his blog Pearls and Irritations earlier this week. John Menadue writes: Few public figures have left their mark on Australia like Gough Whitlam. I knew him for fifty years. He was the most exciting [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 23, 2014 | CHILD HEALTH | |

Supporting wellbeing in the early years

Dr Gavin Hazel – Program Manager, Child, Youth and Wellbeing Program and Jaelea Skehan – Director, from the Hunter Institute of Mental Health write: There is a convergence of professional opinion, science and policy that the welfare of children should be of paramount concern to everybody. Research into early childhood development has grown rapidly over [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 23, 2014 | HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH | |

Clinical variation – how does Australia fare?

Many thanks to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care for these insights from the recently published OECD study on geographic variations in health care. In May 2014, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) released a discussion paper on how provision of common hospital procedures varies across [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 22, 2014 | EBOLA | |

What does ebola tell us about the state of global health?

Last week in the Lancet, Lawrence Gostin and Eric Freidman discussed the reasons that the ebola outbreak constitutes a crisis in global health leadership  and called for reform. In this article (a previous version of which appeared in DevPolicy) Sam Byfield, from  the University of Melbourne’s Nossal Institute for Global Health, looks at the factors that have contributed to the inadequate global response and reiterates calls for Australia to commit to more than financial assistance.

Sam Byfield writes:

In March 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control reported 86 suspected cases and 59 deaths from Ebola in Guinea, and noted the disease’s emergence in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The official death toll from ebola has now topped 4000 people, from a total of approximately 8000 official cases (and up to 21,000 unofficial, if unreported cases are included). The CDC has estimated that, without any interventions or changes in community behaviour, by January 2015 there may be around 550,000 Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone (or 1.4 million if corrections for underreporting are made). The economic cost of Ebola could be as high as $33 billion over the next two years if the virus spreads to neighbouring countries in West Africa.

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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 22, 2014 | EBOLA | |

An AusMAT deployment to fight ebola – How and why

Thus far the federal government has resisted calls for Australia to send assistance other than funding to fight the growing ebola crisis in West Africa citing an inability to guarantee treatment for infected personnel close by. In this open letter  visiting Professor Larry Hollingworth CBE, Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University, New York explains that, while evacuation routes for patients are required, in AusMAT,  Australia has the means and expertise to make a difference.

Professor Hollingworth writes:

I believe there is considerable debate in Australia about the barriers to deploying AusMAT teams to West Africa.  As someone who has trained many AusMAT leaders and worked with some, I wish with respect to add my commentary to this issue.

This is my independent view.

I write simply as a humanitarian.

In my years as a humanitarian worker I have never heard the strength of language currently being used from Governments, UN, WHO, prominent NGOs and workers on the ground. We will have a crisis of unimaginable consequences if the world does not act now. We remember crises like Rwanda, where hundreds of thousands died whilst the world watched. In the countries affected by ebola public health care has been severely tested.  Care for ‘day to day’ illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis is limited by resources diverted to the ebola response

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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 22, 2014 | HEALTH IN ALL POLICIES | |

Creating change in government to address the social determinants of health: What can we do better?

Finding the mechanisms for governments to effectively consider health impacts across the policy spectrum has thus far proven elusive. In this research Dr Gemma Carey, Brad Crammond and Robyn Keast argue that the current mechanisms for cross government working are inappropriate or inadequate.   Fortunately they also provide guidance on building the appropriate supportive architecture [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 21, 2014 | HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS | 1 |

Gough Whitlam’s life and legacy: experts respond

Many thanks to The Conversation for allowing us to repost this overview of the legacy of Gough Whitlam.

By Richard Holden, UNSW Australia Business School; Anne-marie Boxall, University of Sydney; Diana Perche; Hannah Forsyth, Australian Catholic University; Ian Lowe, Griffith University; Joanna Mendelssohn; Jo Caust, University of Melbourne; Margaret McKenzie, Deakin University; Mark Beeson, Murdoch University, and Veronica Sheen, Monash University

Gough Whitlam, Labor prime minister from 1972 to 1975, has died aged 98. A giant of modern Australian politics, his passing triggered a flood of tributes on Tuesday morning.

In a statement, current Labor leader Bill Shorten said:

Like no other PM before or since, Gough Whitlam redefined our country and in doing so he changed the lives of a generation … Our country is different because of him.

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MICHELLE HUGHES | October 21, 2014 | HEALTH & MEDICAL MARKETING | |

In brief: ACCC calls for public reporting of payments to doctors

It seems that the relationship that doctors have with pharmaceutical companies is under increasing scrutiny.  As evidence mounts on the impact of pharmaceutical marketing techniques on prescribing, there is an increasing push for transparency. While the No Advertising Please campaign of doctors banning pharmaceutical reps from their practices is newly underway, the pharmaceutical companies may [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | October 20, 2014 | RURAL AND REMOTE HEALTH | |

Love rural? What WAS that all about…

Each year, the National Rural Health Alliance holds a “CouncilFest”, an event of many parts, including an opportunity for engaging in some policy development and advocacy. During the recent CouncilFest, many Croakey readers may have noticed an avalanche of photos on Twitter of people walking the Canberra halls of power wearing “Love rural” T-shirts. In [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | October 20, 2014 | HEALTH WORKFORCE | |

I Heart My People: some stories from behind the scenes

I Heart My People is a three-part documentary series on NITV (Weds 9.30pm), following several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and emergency professionals. Below are some of their stories (as provided by SBS). *** Stanley Ozies – Remote Aboriginal Health Worker, Derby I’m a Senior Aboriginal Health Worker at the Derby Aboriginal Health Service [...]

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